Virtual screening partners to find new antimicrobial drugs

Scientists in laboratory

Cresset Discovery and the University of Exeter have entered a collaboration to discovery novel antimicrobial drugs. 

Cresset Discovery will use virtual screening to identify promising new candidates, building on research led by Dr Stefano Pagliara. 

Virtual screening enables chemists to explore new chemical space, discover diverse chemotypes and generate new IP. 

Antimicrobials play a fundamental role in modern medicine, but the presence of drug-resistant pathogens has led to reduced efficacy. Five million deaths worldwide are already associated with infections caused by pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics.  

It has been predicted that such infections will be the leading cause of death by 2050 with a cumulative cost to society of $100 trillion; therefore, bacterial infections are now a key priority for the World Health Organization. 

Dr Pagliara’s research is tackling antimicrobial resistance by quantifying the accumulation of existing and novel drugs in individual bacterial pathogens as well as the efficacy of such drugs in clearing out bacterial infections. 

“I am very excited to work on this antimicrobial resistance project together with Cresset Discovery. Our joint goal is to discover molecules that interfere with the functioning of novel bacterial targets that we have identified in my laboratory. By using such molecules as antibiotic adjuvants we will increase the accumulation and efficacy of existing antibiotics,” said Dr Stefano Pagliara, Associate Professor at the University of Exeter. 

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